Julene Waffle


Dressed in blue coveralls used to keep
the hard, crisp edges of clean,

the men bend all day and rake between curtains
of almond tree blossoms hanging
heavy and warm and full of yellow buzzing.

Like white wisteria dripping, like frothing
waterfalls, like feathered moonbeams,
the branches bend toward earth
as if already full with their fruit.

With each breath of spring,
pink-edged petals fall like mana
and the raking begins again.
These few short weeks,
to bend and pull and turn and pick
makes the men sweat and breathe heavy,

but not for the work of it
as one might think.